Tara Pacific Expedition Conducts Scientific Research in Palau

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-18-080
January 16, 2018
Office of the President

Tara Pacific Expedition Conducts Scientific Research in Palau

The Tara Pacific Expedition recently conducted a scientific research in Palau as part of their 2-year mission that commenced in May 2016 spanning the entire Asia-Pacific region.

On Wednesday, January 10th, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., Senate President Hokkons Baules, Delegate Jonathan Isechal, Minister Umiich Sengebau, Ambassador Olai Uludong, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu of Palau International Coral Reef Center and other officials met the crew and the scientific team on board vessel -Tara Pacific.

The team shared their initial observations of Palau’s ecosystems and the potential impact neighboring nations have on the Republic’s marine environment. In terms of coral research, Ryan McMinds, a coral microbiologist from Oregon State University and mission Chief Scientist explained, “The overall idea is to get a sense of how many variations corals have, including what type of algae, bacteria and viruses are associated with these corals across the entire Pacific. We’re focusing on three particular species of corals, but also have a fish team on board. We really want to understand the genetics of these organisms and if they are consistent across the entire Pacific or whether they are specific to different environments.” The team also focused their research on microbes or microorganisms that might be causing diseases and potential coral gene flow through ocean currents from surrounding nations.

Beginning their research in the Southwest Islands, the team observed healthy, diverse reef ecosystems compared to other reefs in the world, but also noted signs of stress due to climate change and other contributing factors. Researchers from the University of Nice Côte d’Azu in France on board the Expedition focused research on determining the level of resilience and adaptation corals have to ocean acidification, which occurs when corals cannot absorb calcium carbonate to maintain their skeletons due to the increase of carbon dioxide in the ocean.  The team noted Palau’s well conserved reef ecosystem allowed them to observe the impacts of acidification other anthropogenic factors that originate from human activity that could be affecting the reefs.

In the meeting President Remengesau noted that the team’s initial observations justifies the importance of establishing marine protected areas in the entire region, and further asked the research team to share data collected with the Government of the Republic of Palau towards educational and policy-making in Palau’s efforts to further preserve and protect the ocean and its resources locally, regionally and internationally.

The Tara Pacific Expedition is near the end of its 2-year research mission. Samples collected throughout the mission are being analyzed by international labs. Results of their mission are anticipated for completion within a year’s time.

The Tara Pacific Expedition is sponsored and supported by numerous international organizations such as agnès b., UNESCO, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Veolia Foundation, World Courier, BillerudKorsnäs and Oceans by Disney among others.

 

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release re. TARA Pacific Expedition in Palau_16JAN2017_FINAL

President Remengesau Congratulates New Board Members and Thanks the Senate for their Continued Support

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-18-081
January 17, 2018
Office of the President

President Remengesau Congratulates New Board Members and Thanks the Senate for their Continued Support

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. congratulates thirteen (13) Board members whose appointments were confirmed by the Senate during the eight day of their fifth regular session on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at the National Capitol.

The Senate confirmed the reappointments of Theodore Dulei Subris, John C. Thing, Lakolani Olngellel, and Father John Paul Illilau to the Palau National Parole Board; the reappointments of Emiliano Kazuma and Masao Esebei to the Board of Land Surveyors Examiners; appointments of Yosko Malsol and Huan Anastacio and the reappointments of Alfonso Uchel Megreos and Gregorio Ngirmang to the Palau Language Commission; the appointment of Romana Wong to Palau Community College Board of Trustrees; and the reappointment of Hanenore K. Belechl and appointment of Pastor Hiob Ngirachemoi to the Palau Ethics Commission.

The newly confirmed members will greatly contribute the mandates of these important Boards of the Republic. President Remengesau further extends his appreciation to the Senate of the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau for their continued support.

Click on the following link to download a copy of this press release: Press Release re. Confirmed Board Appointments_17JAN2018_FINAL

Nation Gathers in Prayer for the People and Government

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-18-078
January 12, 2018
Office of the President

Nation Gathers in Prayer for the People and Government

On Thursday, January 11th at the National Day of Prayer event, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., Senate President Hokkons Baules, House of Delegates Speaker Sabino Anastacio, members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau, with State Government leaders and Traditional Chiefs and Christians of the Republic gathered in prayer to entreat the Almighty God seeking guidance and continued blessings for the health and wellbeing of the People and Government of the Republic of Palau.

Delivering the Prayer for the Nation, Pastor Billy G. Kuartei referenced the book of Psalms that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance” and that a nation is blessed to have God’s favor and protection. Asking for God’s forgiveness, protection and blessing, Pastor Kuartei prayed on behalf of the Republic for God’s guidance and for the nation to work together in harmony and good faith in this New Year.

In his message to the Republic, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. expressed that leadership, governance, service to the people, and decision-making relies on faith, trust, and service to the Almighty, adding that “It should be reminded that unlike other countries around the world, there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution of the Republic of Palau as we Palauans have and always will, as a nation, stand firm in our faith that all things are dependent on the Almighty God.”

The National Day of Prayer event saw citizens and members of the Christian faith with the Invocation given by Father Rusk Saburo of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the National Anthem performed by Kirby Sikyang, and Benediction by Pastor John Zimmer of the Omekulel a Bibilia with Hymns by choirs from the Palau Baptist Church, the Omekulel a Bibilia, and the Koror Evangelical Church.

Click on this link to download the press release: Press Release re. National Day of Prayer_12JAN2018_FINAL

First Lady and Ministers’ Spouses Announce Winners of the 3rd Annual Public School Christmas Tree Contest

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-18-077
January 5, 2018
Office of the President

First Lady and Ministers’ Spouses Announce Winners of the 3rd Annual Public School Christmas Tree Contest

On Friday, January 5, First Lady Debbie M. Remengesau and Minister Baklai Temengil-Chilton announced and awarded winners of the 2017 Public School Christmas Tree Contest during the Principal’s Forum held at the Ministry of Education.

The First Lady expressed the objective of this 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest held in December 2017 is to not only encourage young children to utilize recyclable and reusable materials, but to also provide them with an avenue to be innovative, creative and to “think outside the box” of normal daily classroom studies.

The Ministry of Education revealed the students who participated in designing the Christmas Trees for the Annual Contest researched the products such as plastic bottles to learn more about their origin and how they washed up on Palau’s shores.  The Contest gave the students an opportunity to be hands-on, learn more about everyday products they use and how they can contribute to maintaining and protecting the environment.

The winners of the 2017 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest is as follows:

  1. Angaur Elementary School – First Place Prize of $1,000.00
  2. B. Harris Elementary School – Second Place Prize of $700.00
  3. Ngeremlengui Elementary School – Third Place Prize of $500.00
  4. Aimeliik Elementary School – Fourth Place Prize of $300.00

The remaining schools were awarded $250.00 each for their participating in the contest. A total of fourteen public schools, twelve elementary schools and one high school, designed and submitted their Christmas tree creations based on the “Year of Family” theme and use of recyclable materials. A group of judges, including the Ministers’ spouses judged the submitted Christmas Trees on December 20, 2017 based on its height, creativity, expression of the theme “Family”, the use of recyclable and reusable materials and the originality of the design.

The Christmas Tree Contest is an annual program and plans are underway for this year’s contest.

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release_2017 Public School Christmas Tree Winners Announced_05JAN2018_FINAL

President Remengesau and his Cabinet Members Set Course for 2018

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-076
January 3, 2018
Office of the President

President Remengesau and his Cabinet Members Set Course for 2018

On December 28th, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. and members of his Cabinet gathered together to discuss progress of ongoing government initiatives and programs, and set course for 2018 as the Republic prepared to welcome the New Year.

Among the topics discussed during this last Cabinet meeting 2017 are the continued Government efforts to eradicate kebeas, implementation of NDBP’s agriculture and aquaculture loan program promoting food security, focused attention on preventive healthcare, and stronger partnerships supporting the continued growth and sustainable economic development of Palau.

Palau witnessed major infrastructural development and capacity advancement in 2017, including the completion of fiber optic high-speed internet connectivity, the commencement of public-partnerships for the renovation and expansion of the Palau International Airport, the Water Improvement Project and the Koror-Airai Sanitation Project to improve the capacity of the sewage system as well as enhancing the nation’s maritime security capacity in partnership with the Nippon Foundation among other programs and projects aimed at improving the lives of the People of Palau.

Coming to the end of the “Year of Family”, President Remengesau and his Cabinet members commends the success of 2017 and of specialized programs focusing on the well being of families and family participation in social, health, and economic development programs. Further discussing the possibilities for focus in 2018, the Executive Leadership approved of a new theme that will be formally announced in January.

President Remengesau regularly meets his Cabinet every Monday to discuss and resolve important Government matters to ensure the efficient delivery of public services to the People of Palau. He is committed to continue this tradition during the duration of his term in office.

To download this press release, click on the following link: Press Release_President Remengesau and Cabinet Set Course for 2018_29DEC2017_FINAL

President Remengesau Celebrates Christmas with Our Senior Citizens

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-075
December 20, 2017
Office of the President

President Remengesau Celebrates Christmas with Our Senior Citizens

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., First Lady Debbie M. Remengesau, Minister Elbuchel Sadang and Minister Baklai Temengil-Chilton gave our Senior Citizens an early Christmas celebration hosting a holiday luncheon at the Old Age Center on Wednesday, December 20th.

Wishing all of our Senior Citizens a happy Christmas, President Remengesau expressed appreciation to our Senior Citizens for their unwavering love and commitment to Palau and our children. “We are where we are because of you. Without You, our elders, there won’t be an Us.” said President Remengesau. “We truly value your opinion and wisdom as important members and caretakers of our Palauan community and family.”

Giving back to the Senior Citizens, President Remengesau announced his commitment to work with the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau in looking into increasing funding assistance to Social Security beneficiaries by $50 or more. The President also reminded all Senior Citizens of subsidy available for the first 500 kilowatts of energy costs. Further assistance was also made available by Minister Sadang and his staff to help all Senior Citizens access this service.

First Lady Debbie gifted each of the Senior Citizens present certificates to Melusch Dil Beauty Shop for a service of their choosing.

On behalf of the President Remengesau and the Office of the President, we wish all Senior Citizens of Palau a very happy Christmas.

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release_President Remengesau Celebrates Christmas with Our Senior Citizens_20DEC2017_FINAL Rev

First Lady and the Ministers’ Spouses host 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-074
December 20, 2017
Office of the President

First Lady and the Ministers’ Spouses host 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest

First Lady Debbie M. Remengesau and the Ministers’ spouses in partnership with the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Education hosted the 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest themed, “Year of the Family”.

A total of fourteen public schools, twelve elementary schools and one high school, participated in this year’s event creating original designs using recyclable and reusable materials focusing on the theme of family.

First Lady Remengesau stated, “The contest is more than judging and awarding the best Christmas tree design. The holiday season is about family. This contest in a way reminds us of the importance of family and spending time with the people we love.”

“All of the designs submitted were creative and beautiful, physically demonstrating that something as simple as a Christmas tree can be created with materials found around us,” said Minister Baklai Temengil-Chilton. “We applaud all of the students and their teachers for their handiwork and congratulate them for creating stunning trees this year.”

The group of judges including the Ministers’ Spouses carefully judged all fourteen Christmas Trees submitted based on its height, creativity, expression of the theme “Family”, the use of recyclable and reusable materials and originality of the design.

Prizes for the contest are $1,000 cash for first place, $700 cash for second place, $500 cash for third place and $300 cash for fourth place. Winners of the contest will be announced during the Principals’ Forum on January 5, 2018.

To download this press release, click on the following link: Press Release_3rd Annual Christmas Tree Contest_20DEC2017_FINAL

President Remengesau Bids Farewell to Senior JICA Volunteer Yuzo Yasui

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-073
December 19, 2017
Office of the President

President Remengesau Bids Farewell to Senior JICA Volunteer Yuzo Yasui

On December 19th, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. received Senior JICA Volunteer Yuzo Yasui who paid a courtesy visit to the President’s Satellite Office in Meyuns.

President Remengesau thanked Yasui for his service to Palau stating, “I thank you sincerely for the time you’ve spent working in Palau and with PPUC. Renewable energy is a top national priority and an area of great need.”

A passionate photographer outside of his profession and work with PPUC, Yasui spent much of his 2-years in Palau visiting all the States and capturing the beauty of Palau.

Yasui worked with PPUC’s Renewable Energy Department during his tenure. He is due to return back to Japan in January 2018.

President Remengesau and the Palau Leadership Welcomes PSS KEDAM

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-072
December 19, 2017
Office of the President

President Remengesau and the Palau Leadership Welcomes PSS KEDAM

With the rain pouring as a sign of blessing, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. and the Palau Leadership welcomed the new patrol vessel PSS KEDAM, its newly trained Palauan crew and their Japanese counterparts on Tuesday, December 19th.

Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold B. Oilouch who spoke on behalf of the President during the welcoming ceremony held at the Marine Law Building in Malakal expressed appreciation to the members of the leadership for welcoming the vessel’s crew back home.

A total of fifteen trained Palauan Marine Law officers captained PSS KEDAM from Kure (Kegoya), Japan that departed on December 8th to Palau. Members of the Palauan crew who were on board the vessel are Captain Mayce Ngirmeriil, Executive Officer Jim Shiro Kloulechad, Chief Engineer Moses Nestor, Engineer Kamrul Zaman, Navigator Duke Joseph and Officers Gerwin Ngemelas Temong, Zachary Ngiraului Remengesau, Franley Omkar Chokai, Allen Lauren Ngiralmau, Ronald Beltau Yashiro, Wyzer Meyar Seklii, Gerald Ringang, Jr., Lenin Lmatk Louis, Harley S. Remoket and Carlos R. Ngirturong. The crew was accompanied by their Japanese counterparts, including Master Hatakeyama Kaoru, Commanding Officer Ryuzaki Misao, Second Officer Matsubara Yoshihiro, Kita Shojiro, Sakurai Motonori, and Doi Shiro.

In addition to the members of Palau’s leadership, family and friends of the crew,   Ambassador Toshiyuki Yamada of Japan to Palau and special guests representing the Japan Association of Marine Safety, Fisheries Engineering Co., Ltd., Kegoya Dock Co., Ltd., and NBK Corporation attended the ceremony to welcome the vessel’s crew and the arrival of KEDAM.

The largest national police vessel to date, the PSS KEDAM is a 40-meter patrol vessel donated by the Nippon Foundation. It is capable of carrying a crew of up to twenty and equipped with the latest state of the art navigation and surveillance systems. The vessel will greatly support Palau’s marine surveillance and monitoring.

An official handover ceremony is scheduled to take place in February 2018.

Click on the following link to download a copy of this press release: Press Release_PSS KEDAM Arrives in Palau_19DEC2017_FINAL

President Remengesau Delivers a Powerful Speech at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP23 in Germany

REMARKS OF
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT TOMMY E. REMENGESAU, JR.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU
23rd CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES
UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Mr. President, the Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji and President of the 23rd Conference of the Parties,
Excellencies,
Friends,

I would like to congratulate my colleague from the Pacific, the Honorable Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, on the Presidency of the 23rd Conference of the Parties.

On behalf of the People of Palau, I would also like to extend our deepest condolences to those who have had their lives devastated by the recent spate of hurricanes and typhoons across Asia and the Americas. The world must not abandon the affected communities in their time of need. Make no mistake, these are not natural disasters.  As vulnerable countries have warned for decades, they are the inevitable consequence of short-sighted policy choices.

The world must start listening to vulnerable countries.

Mr. President,

Palau is under no illusions about the impact one small island nation can have on the planet. But we have nonetheless chosen to lead by example. Our small size – often a disadvantage in the global economy – makes us nimble enough to embrace new solutions. Modest resources can have a transformational impact. Indeed, small islands can be the incubators of new ideas and new approaches.

That is why my country has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2025 — 50% below business as usual.  At least 45% of our electricity will come from the sun and the wind.  This is not just good climate policy. It is also good economics. Renewable energy will bring more stable energy prices, and improved fiscal outlook, and far greater energy security. Palau is ready to free itself from the burden of fossil fuels.

We are working hard to implement our NDC and encourage private sector investment, but we cannot do this alone. Palau is grateful to have received initial technical support from a number of sources:

  • IRENA is finalizing the Palau Energy Roadmap.
  • New Zealand is conducting grid analysis and installing rooftop solar on the community college.
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency is supporting work on maintenance and repair of our current transmission grid.
  • And US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has provided technical support on energy efficiency standards among other issues.

This is what international cooperation looks like, and we all will need a lot more if we are to achieve our Paris goals.

Palau also recognizes the important link between the climate and the ocean, and we applaud the efforts of Fiji to bring attention to this issue.  This is a space in which Palau has been a leader for many years.

Our contribution to the restoration of our precious global commons is the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. We have set aside 80 percent of our maritime territory — 500,000 square kilometers of ocean—as a no-take marine sanctuary. The remaining 20 percent will remain accessible for regulated and sustainable domestic fishing to ensure food security for Palauans now and in the future. The Sanctuary is critical to building the resilience of our fisheries and coral reef ecosystems to the impacts of climate change, acidification, and other human impacts, and to maintaining the ocean’s capacity to serve as an effective carbon sink.

Here, too, we are relying on our partners to assist in the implementation of the Sanctuary and the enforcement of its restrictions on commercial fishing. Palau is grateful for assistance provided by Nippon Foundation/Sasakawa Peace Foundation, which is helping us develop and implement a monitoring and enforcement plan. Google has also become an important partner, lending their immense global mapping capacity to the effort. Other countries and organizations are stepping up as well.

Mr. President,

Big ideas can come from small places. Palau is doing all it can to demonstrate that our internationally agreed goals do in fact mean something, and are the guiding star as we navigate toward a sustainable future.  We are ready to show the world that a better future is possible.

My friends, it is time to start listening to vulnerable countries.

Thank you.

 

Click on the link to download PDF copy of President Remengesau’s speech: Palau HL Statement COP23 – 15 Nov 2017_FINAL